When people saw the headline “John Tortorella looks to future after Rangers first round defeat,” they instantly latched onto jokes about the fiery coach finding employment elsewhere. That wasn’t really the intention of the headline, but it was admittedly an amusing reaction.
If a Larry Brooks report is correct, then those amusing reactions were notably off-base. The New York Post writer passes along word that the New York Rangers signed Tortorella to a three-year contract extension “a couple months ago.”
His contract was set to expire at the end of this season, so that contract extension would reportedly run through the 2013-14 season. Of course, following the nature of the coaching profession, he might get paid for those seasons but a sudden firing is always a threat.
Again, it’s important to note that this is a report, but if true, it justifies all of his forward-thinking comments. It’s a solid choice if you ask me, as the Rangers were significantly lacking in talent but still managed to make the playoffs this season. Sure, it wasn’t a perfect playoff series, but the team seems to be in pretty good hands with Torts. Now it’s a matter of building on that foundation of hard work with young players who can cause much more damage.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.